Are You Meant to be a Chef?

The top culinary arts schools in the world do a great job at preparing students for a role in the world of cooking, hospitality, and many other industries. However, experts agree that there are some natural traits shared by the most successful chefs in the industry. Among these is passion for the art and creativity, as well as a desire to continuously innovate your cooking styles to meet the tastes of your patrons. Cooking school is the best way to hone the specifics of cooking, but some of the traits shared seem to come naturally.

The character traits of a professional chef can be fine tuned in a culinary arts program at a college. But as Chef.com tells us, some of the most important traits are the ones you may already have.

In Seven Personality Traits of a Culinary Professional, Chef.com says that the number one trait is stamina – the ability to keep going, even when exhaustion is knocking on the door:

“First, a great professional chef has stamina, or the ability to keep going for long periods under high pressure. Cooking in a professional setting is different from cooking at home: you’ll work odd hours with long stretches of high demand, and you need stamina to stay focused and productive during that time. Good chefs need to stamina cope with tedium: you’ll find yourself making the same cuts over and over again as you prep dishes for big crowds. Over a long shift, your back will ache and your feet will hurt. You’ll cut yourself, you’ll burn yourself, and you will get greasy and sweaty. But if you have stamina, you’ll push through the physical discomfort day after day.”

The article smartly mentions another reason why this is such an important trait – paying your dues. Few successful and well-paid chefs reached the top of their profession without putting in a lot of time working their way through the ranks at restaurants and commercial kitchens. It takes stamina to get through that.

The final trait listed by Chef.com is the desire to learn. As the article suggests, you never really finish your education when you become a culinary arts expert:

“All professionals who are truly passionate about their jobs never lose the desire to keep learning, and this is especially true of creative professionals like chefs. Great chefs know they have to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in their field, and they also are interested in learning more about specific cuisines to an expert level. Testing new equipment, trying new ingredients, eating at new restaurants—these learning experiences are part of the joy of being a chef that happens outside the kitchen, but can enrich and improve your performance in it. Finally, a good chef is never afraid to go back to the classroom now and then to brush up on old skills or master new ones.”

Want to know if you have what it takes to excel in a culinary arts school and become a chef? Check out all Seven Personality Traits of a Culinary Professional and then click “Search by School” on this website to see talk with a culinary arts college about your career as a chef.